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Author Topic:   Opinions and conclusions about Religion and God.
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13240
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 1 of 280 (320771)
06-12-2006 11:14 AM


What have you learned concerning your overall views about Religion in general and God, specifically?

Everyone is allowed to comment here, be ye atheist, theist, deist, or MEist.

I'll start:

Growing up, I never really gave religion too much thought. My parents went to church as a social outlet, (which is what most people do) and God was a personal belief that in their generation was never discussed much.

13 years ago, I got saved or at least thought strongly that I did. My conclusion is that I was definitely changed and that for the first time in my life I knew that I knew that I knew that God was real.

Later, after running the gambit of organized religion and questioning everything that I had previously concluded about it, I can say that I Believe:

  • That God is real and personal. (This despite not having actually felt Him for quite awhile since I left the church functions)
    Knowing that this is a belief and a relative fact personal only to me...(Kinda like my parents, who kept it to themselves)

  • Humans are all loved by God, and although I'm not convinced that everyone is automatically saved I can find no flaw in the possibility of such a reality. It still boils down to individual profession and belief, however. It would be as if there were a Grandma that adopted everyone on earth as her grandchildren. We may be all related to her, but it would mean nothing unless we actually knew who she was. (would it?)

  • The inconsistencies in Biblical literalism are secondary to the philosophies, implications, and reactions that we have to the character of Jesus Christ. Christ is the center of the Bible and no amount of excuse concerning an evil O.T. God or any other finger-pointing absolves any individual from dealin with the central question: (From Christ) Who do you say that I am?

    I think that people need to put all of the arguments aside and simply love each other. Whether or not we are doing it in the name of Christ, Buddha, or the Symphony Orchestra is not as important as whether we are doing it for selfish reasons or for loving, selfless reasons. (Christ Is Love, remember?)

    Faith/Belief or Coffee House>>> Your pick, admin.


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    AdminNWR
    Inactive Member


    Message 2 of 280 (320775)
    06-12-2006 11:30 AM


    Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

      
    PurpleYouko
    Member
    Posts: 713
    From: Columbia Missouri
    Joined: 11-11-2004


    Message 3 of 280 (320795)
    06-12-2006 12:29 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    Interesting topic
    Nice topic Phat. I'll give it a shot.

    Now let's see.... What have I learned about religion?

    Well I'm pretty sure I said all this before but just to reiterate, I grew up in a household with a strongly religious mother (Jehovah's witness) and a pretty non religious (though not atheistic as far as I am aware) father.

    I went to church (or meetings as they were called) several times a week and read the bible from cover to cover a number of times.

    I have always had a rather scientific kind of way of looking at things and as I grew up I began to discover what appeared to be inconsistencies of logic in everything related to the religion which I had previously thought was to be my life.
    I started asking the questions (you know the ones. Who made God? How could A&E know good from evil before eating the fruit? and many others.) and got smacked down at every turn with excuses and vaguaries. It quickly became evident to me that my teachers didn't have the answers either but unlike me they were quite content to live in denial that there were even issues.

    I checked out a few other christain religions but they were all the same or worse so I stopped going to church at all and concentrated on my education.
    During this time I became quite fascinated with other religions of the world and read everything I could about them. I soon noticed a trend. They all claim to be the "one true religion" and that all others are false.

    13 years ago, I got saved or at least thought strongly that I did

    Funny you should say that because that is exactly the way I felt when it finally hit me that maybe they were all wrong. Not only that but maybe there wasn't a God at all. It was like a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
    The following years of scientific reading and research just served to deepen this feeling. Without God in the equation, everything just fell neatly into place. For a while I became a strong atheist and actively believed that there was no God.

    During the last few years and particularly since joining the EVC comunity, my position has shifted to weak atheist. I no longer believe that there is no God. There very well might be but I am just indifferent to him/her. I see absolutely zero evidence of his/her existence and absolutely no need for him/her to exist yet I also know that science cannot rule him/her out as a possibility.

    think that people need to put all of the arguments aside and simply love each other. Whether or not we are doing it in the name of Christ, Buddha, or the Symphony Orchestra is not as important as whether we are doing it for selfish reasons or for loving, selfless reasons. (Christ Is Love, remember?)

    Totally agree with your sentiment here and since realizing that God is unnecessary, I am now able to be 100% certain that the love I show to others is utterly unmotivated by self interest in some promised afterlife which is dependent on the things I do in this lifetime.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 4 by Gary, posted 06-12-2006 2:22 PM PurpleYouko has not yet responded
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    Gary
    Inactive Member


    Message 4 of 280 (320825)
    06-12-2006 2:22 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by PurpleYouko
    06-12-2006 12:29 PM


    Re: Interesting topic
    PurpleYouko writes:

    Totally agree with your sentiment here and since realizing that God is unnecessary, I am now able to be 100% certain that the love I show to others is utterly unmotivated by self interest in some promised afterlife which is dependent on the things I do in this lifetime.

    I also agree with this. I was at the Baccalaureate, a ceremony before my graduation from UF last month, and one of the valedictorians gave a speech. He was very religious, quoting the Bible several times, and he concluded by saying that there is no such thing as altruism because everything we do benefits us in some way. He actually said that no one in the auditorium could name anything that they had done that wasn't an attempt to help themselves out in some way. But just the previous week, I had volunteered at a retirement home for horses, grooming old horses. I didn't really expect to get anything out of that, I did it because it was a nice thing to do.

    Maybe people like that valedictorian believe that there is no such thing as altruism because the promise of an afterlife has been so deeply ingrained into their heads that whenever they actually do something altruistic, they chalk it down as another act that will help them get into Heaven. I think that is a terrible mindset, to demand a reward for every little thing one does. It seems to me like it would make people uncaring to others, as they act altruistic when deep down they are just being nice to get into Heaven. This mindset encourages people to help out only when they will get a reward afterwards. It leads to a decayed morality that I have witnessed in many religious people.

    People should try to enjoy their lives and appreciate life for what it is, while trying to make things better for others. It is unnecessary to conjure up gods and an afterlife when people can work together, as the social animals they are, for the benefit of everyone without the negative influences of religion.


    This message is a reply to:
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    iano
    Member (Idle past 262 days)
    Posts: 6165
    From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
    Joined: 07-27-2005


    Message 5 of 280 (320828)
    06-12-2006 2:38 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    Re (concerning) Legio (the Law) N
    What have you learned concerning your overall views about Religion in general and God, specifically?

    The more I get to know God specifically the worse Religion in general stinks.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

      
    riVeRraT
    Member (Idle past 241 days)
    Posts: 5746
    From: NY USA
    Joined: 05-09-2004


    Message 6 of 280 (320829)
    06-12-2006 2:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    Religion?

    Religion is only as good as the people who are doing it.

    God?

    God exists for me. I agree with everything you said Phat.
    I thought I was saved once, and that was it. I found out there is more to God, than just being saved.

    Who is saved or not? I don't even care anymore. Jesus came to save, not to judge, so why should I?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

      
    macaroniandcheese 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 2249 days)
    Posts: 4258
    Joined: 05-24-2004


    Message 7 of 280 (320916)
    06-12-2006 6:56 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    i was raised pca. i know my westminster cover to cover. i know more bible verses than you can shake a stick at. i've yet to read the 'whole' thing, but i'm not sure what parts i haven't read.

    the older i get, the more i realize that the god i know and the god i know is very real is not represented by christianity. at least not any variety that exists today.

    i don't know what to do with that knowledge. i quit going to church because i can't justify "biblical worship" with a bible that forbids chanting. i don't know how to deal with the bible which i see as a very political document outside of all else. the old testament is almost entirely about how evil everyone but judah is and the new testament is all mussed up with personal moralizing based on a man who came to forgive and to love.

    my mind and my heart don't know where to meet on this. i can accept any number of options theoretically, but none of it seems to be acceptable to me. worse, most christians are so judgemental and so unwelcoming and so unforgiving that i have no home with them.

    it is, for the most part, the members of churches that have driven me away from god. and i am very close to just abandoning it all. god gave me a mind that questions everything and tests everything. the bible tells us to test and try the word and to test and try the spirit. i am of the mind that i'm doing the right thing and all i get is damnation from "god's people".


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
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    ReverendDG
    Member (Idle past 2431 days)
    Posts: 1119
    From: Topeka,kansas
    Joined: 06-06-2005


    Message 8 of 280 (320924)
    06-12-2006 7:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    What have you learned concerning your overall views about Religion in general and God, specifically?

    i have learned about religion is that everyone who believes has the right to believe and the folks who don't have the right not to
    i have learned that groupthink is the curse of the human race and it is common most in religion and politics

    as for god - i 've learned that the jewish/christian god is a mean cruel bastard and some of his followers tend to follow the groupthink that the end justifies the means

    as for other gods, they seem to be at least honest about the things they do
    i'm sorry if this offends you but this is my belief, if you don't like it, well..


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

      
    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 9 of 280 (320932)
    06-12-2006 7:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    Crash's entirely predictable thoughts on the subject
    Guaranteed to surprise no one:

    1) There's probably no such thing as God, or god, or any gods.

    2) Religion stems from the fact that, in a busy day, people don't have time to puzzle out all the big issues. Religion is a way of kind of skipping to the end of the novel - substituting someone else's mental labor for your own. And, hey, who doesn't do that? I only start to have a problem with it when people refuse to ever engage their own thinking process on any issue that they think their religion has covered.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-12-2006 11:14 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 11 by Rob, posted 06-12-2006 9:21 PM crashfrog has responded
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    randman 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 3220 days)
    Posts: 6367
    Joined: 05-26-2005


    Message 10 of 280 (320934)
    06-12-2006 7:56 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
    06-12-2006 11:14 AM


    great post
    And don't have a comment to add on what I have learned about God, but .....

    (This despite not having actually felt Him for quite awhile since I left the church functions)

    Don't want to be too personal, but you may want to talk to the Lord about this ....having a sense and even tangible manifestation of His presence is definitely something within reach of the beleiver.

    Edited by randman, : No reason given.


    This message is a reply to:
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    Rob 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4170 days)
    Posts: 2297
    Joined: 06-01-2006


    Message 11 of 280 (320955)
    06-12-2006 9:21 PM
    Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
    06-12-2006 7:53 PM


    Re: Pipe Dreams...
    Religion stems from the fact that, in a busy day, people don't have time to puzzle out all the big issues. Religion is a way of kind of skipping to the end of the novel - substituting someone else's mental labor for your own. And, hey, who doesn't do that? I only start to have a problem with it when people refuse to ever engage their own thinking process on any issue that they think their religion has covered.

    I was hopping to present a challenge to the highlighted portion of your observation. Your thinking seems to contain much cynicism. I would encourage you to really think about the following:

    I believe that we can be certain that this adoption occurs, be it in error or not. What I wanted to bring up is that the answer to the question of our existence, existed long before we did (unless of course you hold that we are creating reality even now, or that time is an illusion and those sorts of ideas).

    But if it is true that reality is objective and absolute, then we can not create it, but can only adopt it. Not as our 'own reality' mind you, but as 'reality'.

    So if it is true that God has spoken, and revealed Himself as one of us, and spoke the truth... Then picking up on that is a selfless thing, and not rooted in ego or the attempt to be patted on the back for our genius or originality.

    The question really is... is that true?

    If it is, then reality is absolute.

    If it is not, then the reality that [it is false] is absolute!

    Either way,reality is absolute, for it cannot be otherwise...

    I have found that such thoughts work wonders in the pipeline. The illusions drift away like smoke...

    It's not deep stuff, just the inevitable and exclusive nature of truth...


    Any biters in the stream?

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 9 by crashfrog, posted 06-12-2006 7:53 PM crashfrog has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 14 by crashfrog, posted 06-12-2006 9:52 PM Rob has responded

      
    Rob 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4170 days)
    Posts: 2297
    Joined: 06-01-2006


    Message 12 of 280 (320960)
    06-12-2006 9:47 PM


    My opinions
    I believe in God, and am a Christian. I believe that Jesus revealed God to us in the manner prophesied in the Old Testament.

    If I had to explain why I believe Jesus was God in the simplest way possible. I would have to say that it is because He said so in the context of the language of the time and culture.

    I believe God is absolute, and the only thing that is absolute. It just so happens that this thing is a Being.

    Perhaps it would be more informative to look at it this way:

    Whatever the truth is... be it that 'we' are God, or that there is no God, or that we are evolving without any purpose or direction at all, there is a curious thing happenning. Whichever of those turn out to be the truth... That reality is in fact absolute!

    Now the way I see it, it really doesn't matter what I believe one way or the other. If it turns out that evolution is true in the stricktly naturalist sense, then all the faith in the world in Christ will be meaningless. I would have been totally wrong in my assesment and as a result, out of touch with reality.

    The point I am trying to make is that I can't change reality. And believing what isn't real does me no good whatsoever. It might make me happy in a 'now' sense of the word. (which is the requirement for many when choosing a worldview).

    Christianity doesn't make me happy in the sense most people want. I've never been so miserable in my life! But only because so many reject what it is we have to say, and assume that it is all sophistry. Here we have the best news you could possibly have, and they want to crucify us. It's the one thing they don't want! And it is the real answer!

    I've never been so alive... The good is very good indeed. And the bad is very bad indeed. I can see! The future's so bright, I gotta die to get there!

    Edited by Rob, : Much needed edit

    Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


      
    arachnophilia
    Member (Idle past 299 days)
    Posts: 9069
    From: god's waiting room
    Joined: 05-21-2004


    Message 13 of 280 (320961)
    06-12-2006 9:48 PM
    Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
    06-12-2006 7:53 PM


    Re: Crash's entirely predictable thoughts on the subject
    i don't mean to start any arguments here, nor do i mean to contradict your point, but:

    2) Religion stems from the fact that, in a busy day, people don't have time to puzzle out all the big issues. Religion is a way of kind of skipping to the end of the novel - substituting someone else's mental labor for your own. And, hey, who doesn't do that? I only start to have a problem with it when people refuse to ever engage their own thinking process on any issue that they think their religion has covered.

    this isn't neccessarily always the case. i can tell you that for me, religion has raised nothing but questions. my life and my philosophy was much easier as an athiest.

    but i am not the rule, i am the exception.

    (i might post my own statement later. i haven't decided.)


    אָרַח

    This message is a reply to:
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    crashfrog
    Inactive Member


    Message 14 of 280 (320963)
    06-12-2006 9:52 PM
    Reply to: Message 11 by Rob
    06-12-2006 9:21 PM


    Re: Pipe Dreams...
    I'm sorry but you're not making a lick of sense.

    I have found that such thoughts work wonders in the pipeline.

    Yeah, sounds like you're definately hitting some kind of pipe...


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 11 by Rob, posted 06-12-2006 9:21 PM Rob has responded

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     Message 16 by Rob, posted 06-12-2006 9:59 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

      
    Rob 
    Suspended Member (Idle past 4170 days)
    Posts: 2297
    Joined: 06-01-2006


    Message 15 of 280 (320964)
    06-12-2006 9:55 PM
    Reply to: Message 13 by arachnophilia
    06-12-2006 9:48 PM


    Re: Crash's entirely predictable thoughts on the subject
    i can tell you that for me, religion has raised nothing but questions. my life and my philosophy was much easier as an athiest.

    but i am not the rule, i am the exception.

    I'm with you on this one Spiderman... Like I told a good friend who was considering my faith (and has since seen the light)...

    I didn't know what doubt was, until I believed. All Hell broke loose!

    Which is a curious thing when you think about it...


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by arachnophilia, posted 06-12-2006 9:48 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

      
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